Jessica Shaw
April 11, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Need the 411 on Big Ru’s 205’s? American Idol finalist Ruben Studdard has been sporting shirts that feature the area code of his hometown, Birmingham, Ala.

”Ruben came by the store and said, ‘I’m gonna be on American Idol,”’ recalls Frederick Jenkins, co-owner of 205 Flava Inc. (, the company that makes Ruben’s jerseys. ”And I was like, ‘Yeah, whatever, dawg. You’re not going to be on American Idol.”’ Luckily, Jenkins had a change of heart and decided Ruben was worth a free shirt or two. Now that he’s part of the elite seven, the Alabama heavy has amassed a stash of 40 jerseys in his custom size, 8-10XL, and will receive a few more each week for the rest of his Idol stint.

When Jenkins isn’t custom-designing Ruben gear — he’s working on a shirt for the singer with numbers made of stars and stripes — he’s filling 400 orders a week. ”Before Ruben, we got a few calls here and there,” he says. ”Now there are kids in Idaho and Miami and Detroit wearing 205. It’s a little weird, actually, but everyone wants what Ruben’s got.” — Jessica Shaw

Random Quote


Random Quote

”I am the only actor that went to the center of the earth. I checked it out, and it’s very accurate, this movie. Other than that, I didn’t do much.” — AARON ECKHART ON RESEARCH FOR THE CORE

You May Like